Yasuni National park has been in the conservation spotlight in recent years, with oil drilling threatening the forests and wildlife of this biodiversity hotspot. Recently, disturbance in the park may have ramped up, with satellite data showing a significant increase in deforestation alerts within Yasuni National Park since 2011.
Toledo Blade Back to nature: Last chunk of Elwha dams out in September The Seattle Times Already, terraced banks of the former lakes are burgeoning with alder and cottonwood, the gift of seeds carried by the lakes as they gradually were lowered...
Every piece of garbage can be turned into raw material that can be used in future products. With his influential Cradle to Cradle movement, Germany's Michael Braungart espouses a form of eco-hedonism that puts smart production before conservation.
Conservation, business partnerships evolve Charleston Post Courier Public or private conservation efforts have now protected more than three quarters of a million acres around Charleston - nearly one-third of the land mass of Charleston, Berkeley...
A puzzle of just 82 letters of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species.
In new research published in June in the journal Science, Wolf’s team has found that a surprisingly small chunk of DNA may hold the answer. A comparison of the carrion and hooded-crow genomes showed that the sequences are almost identical. Differences in just 82 DNA letters, out of a total of about 1.2 billion, appear to separate the two groups. Almost all of them are clustered in a small part of one chromosome. “Maybe just a few genes make a species what they are,” said Chris Jiggins, a biologist at the University of Cambridge in England, who was not involved in the study. “Maybe the rest of genome can flow, so species are much more fluid than we imagined before.”
The findings are striking because they suggest that just a few genes can keep two populations apart. Something within that segment of DNA stops black crows from mating with gray ones and vice versa, creating a tenuous mating barrier that could represent one of the earliest steps in the formation of new species. “They look very different and prefer to mate with their own kind, and all of that must be controlled by these narrow regions,” Jiggins said.
"In what appears to be the first study of its kind, computer scientists report that an algorithm discovered more than 50 years ago in game theory and now widely used in machine learning is mathematically identical to the equations used to describe the distribution of genes within a population of organisms. Researchers may be able to use the algorithm, which is surprisingly simple and powerful, to better understand how natural selection works and how populations maintain their genetic diversity.
By viewing evolution as a repeated game, in which individual players, in this case genes, try to find a strategy that creates the fittest population, researchers found that evolution values both diversity and fitness.
Some biologists say that the findings are too new and theoretical to be of use; researchers don’t yet know how to test the ideas in living organisms. Others say the surprising connection, published Monday in the advance online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help scientists understand a puzzling feature of natural selection: The fittest organisms don’t always wipe out their weaker competition. Indeed, as evidenced by the menagerie of life on Earth, genetic diversity reigns."